In the photo above, Dr. Gray receives his award from H.R. Carl XVI Gustaf, The King of Sweden. 

Dreams do come true...in so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years, but the term "glamorous" normally does not roll off the tongue when one speaks of the forest products industry.

Okay, I am sure there are many of you who have been invited to spend time in the presence of a king, queen, or ambassador in your career, but this is the first position that I have held where this was actually the case for my wife and me. This occurred back on Sept. 24-25, 2013. I waited until now to report it, to be certain it was not a dream. The scene was at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.

A dream came true for Dr. Derek Gray, holder of the NSERC/Innovations Industrial Research Chair at McGill University, when he was named the recipient of the 2013 Marcus Wallenberg Prize (MWP). The MWP was established in 1980 for one purposeā€”to recognize, encourage, and stimulate path breaking scientific achievements that contribute significantly to broadening knowledge and technical development within the fields of importance to forestry and forest industries. The MWP has a cash value of 2 million Swedish Krona (SEK), or the equivalent to more than $300,000.

"Dr. Gray was awarded this prize through his work showing that cellulose crystals in water suspensions align spontaneously in a specific pattern, in turn creating unique optical properties," said Kaj Roesen, executive secretary of the MWP Foundation. "This discovery has extended the boundaries of the uses of forest raw material and, in doing so, has created the potential for a series of new products in the forest industry, such as applications of films in "intelligent" packaging materials, printed electronic circuits on paper, surfacing and filler materials for paper and paperboard, inks and cosmetics, and iridescent or magnetic films."

 

On then right, he and his wife were honored the next evening at the Canadian Embassy, in Stockholm.

If you are a student, young professional, or a mature professional, do not stop dreaming. We have only cracked the surface of what this great indiustry of ours has to offer. Who knows? You may be the next MWP award winner.

 

 
In the photos above, my wife Suzanne and I were honored to be invited to share in both celebrations.
 

More information about the MWP is available online. Also, more information about TAPPI is available online.

There are two types of people in our industry; TAPPI members and those who should be.

Until next time...Larry